Spiritual Practice


Wesley Overhults

A lot of people think that bullying is a rite of passage that all kids endure when they are growing up. Some think that dealing with a bully toughens kids up, preparing them for the struggle they will face as adults. I can tell you from experience that these ideas aren’t true.

I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.
Jeremiah 20:7c (NIV)

As a little kid, I was teased a lot. I remember other kids making fun of me, most often because my parents were stricter than other parents. I tried to walk away, but I could only take so much. Eventually, something snapped inside of me, and I began to get into fights during recess. The anger I had bottled up inside had finally burst free.

Being the victim of verbal abuse when you’re young isn’t easy to get over. Even now I sometimes take good-natured teasing more seriously than I should, and I still deal with low self-esteem. A person can overcome being the victim of a bully, but the scars remain. Bullying— whether verbal, emotional, or physical—is a serious problem that can have a lasting impact.

REFLECT: When have you been the victim of bullying? How has it affected you?

—from devozine (May/June 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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